Networks often have an organic character based on voluntary participation in the network of members who strongly value their independence. Yet there is always the need for organizing, for example the representation of the network. It is a continuous search for finding a balance between the independence of the members and the organization of the network: The ‘network paradox’.
Anyone concerned with ‘managing’ networks is confronted with the question: “How do you organize fund raising, advocacy, support, training and capabilities within a network and simultaneously maintain the identity and independence of participants in the network?”.
My coaching, training and advice is based on over 20 years experience in over 15 countries in Europe where, since the early nineties of the 20th century, I have been active in supporting networks of nature and environmental organizations.
Since 1980 I am active in Dutch civil society for nature and environment. First as a volunteer for the Waddenvereniging, then as a professional for Nature and Environment Federation in the province of Overijssel, then the Network of Nature and Environment Nature and Environment Federations and the 12.5 years thereafter for Milieukontakt International on an international level. The story of my own career involves the network which stretches from the villages, the volunteers,the professional organisations and networks and the major international conferences.
Please see my description of civil society for the environment in Europe and the time line part one and two.